REUTERS - Wall Street’s major indexes hit record highs for the third day in a row on Friday as the post-election rally got a lift from healthcare and technology stocks.
The “Trump rally” has been roaring ahead since the Nov. 8 vote on bets that President-elect Donald Trump’s policies will boost economic growth and inflation.
The small cap Russell 2000 and the Dow Transport indexes also hit record intraday highs.
With the rally about to enter its second month, valuations may come under focus.
The S&P 500 is currently trading at about 17.5 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of nearly 15 times, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
“I think if you are a short-term trader, you may be looking to take profits and you are starting to see a little bit of that in financials,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.
The resilience of the stock market will be put to test after the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week, where traders expect a 94 percent chance of an interest rate increase.
At 11:08 a.m. ET (1608 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 40.95 points, or 0.21 percent, at 19,655.76, after hitting 19,671.84. This is the 11th all-time high for the index since the election.
The S&P 500 was up 6.09 points, or 0.27 percent, at 2,252.28, slightly below its high of 2,255.06.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 27.09 points, or 0.5 percent, at 5,444.44, after hitting a high of 5,450.16
Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by a 1.03 percent rise in health stocks and a 0.5 percent rise in technology.
Pfizer rose 2.68 percent and Merck 1.7 percent, giving the biggest boost the healthcare index.
Other pharma stocks helping the index were Bristol-Myers, which rose 3 percent after raising its quarterly dividend; and Biogen, which gained 4.1 percent following positive data on its Alzheimer’s drug.
Financials, which have been the best performers in the rally, were off 0.25 percent.
Broadcom was the top percentage gainer on the S&P, rising 5.3 percent after the chipmaker reported upbeat fourth-quarter results and doubled its dividend.
Coca-Cola rose 2.6 percent and was among the top stocks on the Dow after the company said Muhtar Kent would step down as chief executive and named Chief Operating Officer James Quincey as his successor.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,427 to 1,361. On the Nasdaq, 1,682 issues rose and 1,015 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 45 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 288 new highs and five new lows.
Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva